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Despite growing concerns about young people buying drugs through social media platforms, there is reason to believe that such access may reduce the risks they take when buying and using drugs.

A newly-published study by the International Journal of Drug Policy, #DrugsForSale, has explored the rising trend of social media being used for illegal drug sales. The study involved an international online survey of 358 people – primarily from the UK, Australia, Canada, and the US – who have used, or considered using, social media apps to buy illegal drugs.

Snapchat was used by 76 per cent of those surveyed for accessing illegal drugs, 22 per cent used Instagram, 11 per cent used WhatsApp, and 10 per cent used Facebook or Facebook Messenger. Several respondents said they used dating apps – such as Tinder and Grindr – for accessing drugs.

Article piece from the Talking Drugs website: Stian Mikalsen 7 March 2019

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Buying drugs from ‘dark web’ sites has seemingly fallen out of favour with young people, partly due to the heavy law enforcement crackdown on such sites, and because of the complicated process of accessing such markets and using cryptocurrencies.

One UK respondent, Zach, shared his reasoning:

“It just seemed like a simple, modern way to buy things. I’d gotten pretty sick of the darknet because I never really got it, so had to always have a friend on hand to help me out. With apps it’s super simple; in no time I’ve managed to connect with strangers who I would’ve never been able to access before. Plenty of dealers in this area exist solely on Snapchat, so without it I would’ve kept relying on people approaching me in the street or randomly bumping into people in clubs.” 


Source: #DrugsForSale

 

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